The best way to witness the good in the world is through an open heart. A visually-impaired advocate for the disabled community, Josh believes that achieving happiness is a choice we can make through the little steps we take, whether it be setting small goals or reaching out to others.
The Director of Digital Accessibility Services at social enterprise Etch Empathy, a content creator that shares about disability-related issues and a public speaker that aims to build a more inclusive society, Josh is not just an advocator, but one that is also a jack of all trades. “Persons with disabilities are normal people just like anyone else. We have aspirations, romantic interests, hobbies and (I hope) a sense of humour”, he says. On top of his work as a consultant for digital accessibility and online public figure, Josh is also an amateur wire sculpture. Playing with Wikki sticks out of boredom in class in the beginning, he has since designed and built sculptures for fund-raising galas and been registered as an artist for the SG Enable i’mable Collective with several sold works under his name.
However, this upbeat life was not achieved overnight. When he first completely lost his vision to congenital glaucoma at the age of 16, he grew increasingly lonely and irritable. It took him a few years to start opening his heart to the things he actually had a say over: his perspective in the challenges he faces, his willingness to dabble in the unfamiliar, and the direction he could take in the future. He started reaching out to others, picking up materials that could continue supporting his interests and learned to adapt to this new life that has been tasked to him. Here, he learned how to use the computer for the first time after losing his sight, and met his girlfriend who has since been his listening ear and rock. He found people that he now calls his friends; and eventually, a calling to translate his disability journey into encouragement for those who might be going through the same.
“Do not give up on yourself. Accept you have limitations that you might have no control over. But also realise you are much more capable than you might imagine.”
For more information about The Purple Parade or how you can support the movement, reach us at email@example.com.